Jack Harlow — Thats What They All Say
Thats What They All Say caps off a monster year for Jack Harlow. The Louisville rapper, known for his nonchalant delivery and a lyrical style that balances casual boasts with self-deprecating humor, scored a No. 2 smash with “Whats Poppin” and its star-studded remix before capitalizing on the moment with follow-up hit “Tyler Herro.” His official debut collects big names (Lil Baby, Chris Brown, Big Sean) and hometown peers (Bryson Tiller, EST Gee) for a project that waxes poetic about his origins as a Kentucky kid and provides a snapshot into his current life as a rising star.
DJ Spinall — GRACE
Over a year in the making, DJ Spinall unveils Grace. The Nigerian DJ-producer’s fifth album gathers many of Nigeria’s biggest contemporary stars (Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Fireboy DML, Omah Lay, Bella Shmurda, Oxlade, and more), along with favorites from Ghana (King Promise), Jamaica (Kranium), and the UK (Shaybo, BenjiFlow), for a star-studded event.
Kamaiyah — No Explanations
Leveraging the acclaim of her 2016 debut mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto into an Interscope deal and XXL Freshman slot, Kamaiyah’s stint as a major-label artist lasted three years marked more by frustration than actual music. In 2020, she’s making up for lost time. No Explanations is her third project of the year following February return Got It Made and September’s Oakland Nights joint tape with Capolow. Featuring Jackboy and Mozzy, the project finds one of Oakland’s finest expanding past her typically West Coast sound to incorporate more Southern influences.
Read our feature interview: “Black Excellence: How Kamaiyah Is Achieving Indie Success.”
HOTBOII — Double O Baby
On “Don’t Need Time,” HOTBOII pays a moving tribute to his lost friend, delivering pained croons over somber piano-led production. The breakout hit was remixed by Lil Baby, while full project Kut Da Fan On established the Orlando rapper as Florida’s latest rising star. Double O Baby, his major-label debut, features Lil Mosey, Toosii, and Pooh Shiesty.
Read our feature interview: “HOTBOII Is Turning Pain Into Fuel.”
Fana Hues — Hues
You’d never know Fana Hues lost her voice for nearly five years. The Pasadena singer-songwriter’s powerhouse vocals evoke those of R&B and soul icons like Beyoncé and Nina Simone (both inspirations). Hues, her debut project, covers the emotional spectrum, highlighted by sunbleached single “Icarus.”
Read our feature interview: “Fana Hues Is California’s Everlasting R&B Singer.”